WATERTOWN, South Dakota (CNN) – Long bus rides along rolling fields, small town stops, intimate crowds and diner pie typically symbolize the run up to the Iowa caucuses and the start of the presidential nominating season. But Hillary Clinton's two-day swing through South Dakota, a state that ends the primary process Tuesday, had all those trappings and neither the candidate nor her supporters were acting as though this race was nearing an end.
"A lot of people didn't want this campaign to keep going. They've been trying to tell me to stop running since January - and every time they say it, people rebuke it and keep voting for me. That's what I hope will happen here in South Dakota," she told a cheering crowd of several hundred in Huron.
As she stood in front of an enormous American flag, Clinton wound through her stump speech promising fiscal responsibility, universal health care, better and more jobs, ending the war in Iraq - all the issues candidates touch as they claw for every vote. She promised that between now and Tuesday there would not be a day without a Clinton in some corner of this state. As voters left they were given small Xeroxed fliers advertising a Bill Clinton event Friday in Mitchell.
Earlier Thursday die-hard Clinton supporters and some undecided Democrats waited patiently inside the smallish Second Street Diner in Madison hoping for a glimpse of and a picture with the presidential candidate. Upon arrival Clinton gripped and grinned with the all white, mostly middle-aged female crowd stopping at each booth and table to chat about issues or her Wednesday trip to Mt. Rushmore – "it's an honor, Madame President!" one woman shrieked as Clinton bounced through the door.
Clinton sat with a group of all female campaign volunteers sipped her tea and nibbled her pie before she took the microphone for a semi-impromptu speech and question and answer session with the diner crowd.
Jolene Johnson, a Madison resident and undecided voter, said Clinton's situation did not look "favorable" but said the "tenacity of staying in is typical of a woman ... she is not a quitter." She came to the diner to hear Clinton's pitch, and brought her granddaughter along to show her that a woman could run for president.
"I'd like to see her win," said retiree Wayne Grad. "Obama is a good candidate, but he lacks the experience. He's too much of a rock star." Grad said he thought calls for Clinton to exit the race were premature. When asked whether he thought Clinton would be his party's nominee he said, "I'd like to believe she is."
Clinton logged hours on the road to touch South Dakota's urban and rural communities from Rapid City in the west to Watertown in the east. She heads to Puerto Rico Friday for a three-day swing and a presumed victory in the island's Sunday primary, further adding to her popular vote total and her argument that she still has a chance at the nomination.
The campaign is mum about where she heads after Sunday and what her schedule holds for next week. The mid-size traveling press corps received an email to sign up for future travel, prompting questions about where the bus was headed next? A campaign spokesman replied "there are a lot of places to go to between June 3 and November."
Hillary is an embarrasment to all women...it's one thing to be "tough" but it's quite another to be a NAGGING PAIN IN THE -!!!
To all the OBAMA HATERS...YAWN!!!
How dare he have the AUDACITY to inspire MILLIONS of people who wouldn't have cared about this race had he not been in it!!! Everyone keeps harping on his "inexperience" but fail to realize that the DECADES OF experience from current members of the government have gotten us NO WHERE as a nation (other than on everyone elses "hate" lists)...
I know he doesn't have experience..but I'd rather put my trust in someone fresh and new than to rely on the politics of OLD..and the man is NOT DUMB..he knows he doesn't have BATTLE WOUNDS but he does know how to SURROUND HIMSELF WITH CAPABLE people..just look at his campaign...why wouldn't he do the same in office? Stop complaining about what harm he COULD do for the nation until he is actually in office..you all sound like a COLLECTIVE BROKEN RECORD...anyone who went to school should know that the President is not as POWERFUL as people like to think..they do have to work with CONGRESS before anything can be put into motion....
Amazing. Hillary Enough.
We all have had enough. Lets be done with this and move forward to the General Election.
By the way.. your not more electable
begging poor folks for money
In the hole financially
You expect us to vote for you to run the country.
Keep driving in that wedge Hillary. I hope historians paint a very dark picture of you.
This primary will be over by next Wednesday, so why is this even news.
I hope this lady can wait at least until 2016, to call her Madame President.
Hillary cries that she's losing because of sexism- what a joke! Just exactly who is it doing most of the squawking- white women who vote for her because she is just that- a white woman? When, before now ,has Hillary ever had to compete with men on a level playing field?
Please could she set a good example for the rest of us women and admit that she was beaten by a candidate who simply ran a better race?
Hillary is not president yet. Even though there is a good chance that it could be handed to her by the DNC this weekend. She has played it well with poor pick on Hillary and the sexism. She is not as strong as she pretends to be – and is all for herself!
Can we just chip in and pay someone to great her every morning for the rest of her life with, "Good Morning, Madame President".
I will tell you that I just want to scream when I hear people say that she is winning the popular vote. IT'S A LIE!!!!!
It's a LIE when Hillary says it.
It's a LIE when her surrogates say it.
It's a LIE when her other supporters say it.
It's a LIE when bloggers blog it.
And this propensity to lie is one of the things I find most distasteful about the Clinton campaign, whether it's exaggerating the gas tax savings up to $70 (real number $28 at best), sniper fire and other stories, or bizarre metrics to make the race appear close, when it's been pretty much over for 2 1/2 months.
By the way, what happened to her gas tax idea that was SO, SO important to her? Guess when it was no longer a good campaign ploy to get votes in PA, WV, and KY, it when right out the window.
Also, Carville has been conspicuously absent recently. Did he quietly sneak off the sinking SS Hillary?
Huh? Madame President? What? Do these poeple actually read and research for themselves? Hillary cannot win, no matter what happens with the INVALID election results from FL or MI. Sorry Hildog, not your time, not your place. Try again in 8 years.
It's over girl...
Is it just me or is there a real trend developing for Obama? This hate filled and divisive rehorics on country and race theme is creeping up all over the place for Obama....Wright, Ayers, Pheifer......is it just a coincident that Obama surrounds himself with these characters for about a century and do not share these views? If these views are so opposing to his core beliefs and principles then why tolerate them for so long? It is very perplexing and disburbing at the same time....but the media insists on ignoring it.
I feel badly that so many people are being mislead by Hillary. I cannot imagine how she can have a clear conscious about what mean-spirited things she has done, and the tactics she used along the way....not someone I would want as a neighbor, friend, let alone the president.
She wants to do a Lyndon Johnson Impression! Especially, after Dallas....
I am worried and saddened by the way Obama supporters have downplayed and humiliated the efforts made by the Clintons regarding the Puerto Rico primary. While residents of the island are not allowed to vote in the "general," there is a very well structured Democratic Party within the island. Obama himself has gone down there to collect money. After all, this is a DEMOCRATIC primary, right? So, why is it so appalling to the Obama supporters about the fact that Puerto Ricans would have a say in the matter? They sure didn't object when the Guam primary was taking place! And I don't see Obama returning contributions from Puerto Rican donors anytime soon! Moreover, Puerto Ricans living in the mainland (like myself) ARE allowed to vote in the "general." That makes about 3.5 million votes. That includes about 800,000 in certain swing state named FLORIDA. Other important communities are located in key states such as Ohio (Lorain County/Cleveland) and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Lancaster, York). I thought the Obama supporters could eventually bring all components of the Democratic Party on board. The disrespect towards Puerto Rican voters tells me otherwise...
i cant belive you woman have not woken up to what this woman is about so you support a woman who helped send our troops to iraq you support a woman who stood by her husband when he was cheating on her with monica and who ever else you support a woman who goes back on her word saying she agrees mi and fl should not be seated now wants them seated you support a woman thats has been dividing this party and throwing mccain in the white house cmon ladies i am a woman but a very smart woman wake up and see what hillary is all about she is not setting a very good honest example for us woman i would love nothing more than to see a woman for once run this country but not her not hillary
Hey RJ from CA.. that is surrounding your self w/ highly ethical smart people. Something that Clinton failed to do LOL.
KEEP DREAMING !
Hillary. you are liying to your supporters and have been for a long time!
Fortunatley – Numbers don't lie.
Has there ever been a picture of Hillary taken where she's not smiling with her mouth wide open? I hate when people do that... it looks like she's auditioning for a role as "The Joker" in the next Batman film or something. Which might not be a bad idea, considering that her audition for a role as "president" isn't going to go through... and thank god for that, because we'd definitely lose in November if she were our nominee.